We deserved some sort of reward: Bailey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We deserved some sort of reward: Bailey

By Laine Clark 07/10/2009 05:44:33 PM Comments (0)

After a Four Nations snub added another chapter to Scott Prince's hard luck story, Gold Coast co-captain Luke Bailey claimed the Titans deserved "some sort of reward" for their most successful NRL season.

Bailey - not considered for the Kangaroos due to injury - also wondered why Australian coach Tim Sheens had not pushed harder for former club charge Prince's selection.

None of the Titans in the Kangaroos mix - Prince, Queensland State of Origin rep Ashley Harrison and incumbent Test backrower Anthony Laffranchi - received a nod when the 24-strong Four Nations squad was unveiled on Wednesday.

The Titans camp rallied around Prince after Melbourne's premiership-winning No.7 Cooper Cronk was named as back-up to Test halfback Johnathan Thurston.

Prince has found it hard to ditch the bridesmaid tag at Origin level for Queensland thanks to the inspirational Thurston.

But he was expected to be high in the Kangaroos pecking order, considering his previous premiership-winning success under Sheens at Wests Tigers.

Bailey - booked for arm surgery on Thursday - was clearly surprised Prince was not bound for the European tour.

"I am pretty disappointed for him, for all of them (Titans players who missed out)," Bailey told AAP.

"I know we finished the season poorly but we still finished third (after the regular season) and made the semis so you think that would get some sort of reward.

"And considering Princey's past with Tim Sheens, you would have thought the coach might have pressed his claims a bit more.

"Princey has copped a few knockbacks over the years too.

"I guess the positive is that he will be nice and fresh for us next year."

Despite a successful club career which includes the 2005 NRL title with the Tigers and the Titans' maiden finals series, Prince has played just five Origins and four Tests.

Titans chairman Paul Broughton described Prince as "the most committed and influential halfback in the game".

"I am disappointed for him but he will come back better than ever," he told AAP.

"The past has shown that it is a great advantage if you feature in the final two weeks of the finals and Cooper Cronk has been sensational in the last two, three games - that probably gave him the edge.

"Rather than think that Scott was dropped, I think Cooper Cronk probably forced a change."

On no Titans making the Kangaroos squad, Broughton said: "It says a lot for our coaching staff to have got to third spot without a player considered worthy of the Test squad."

Queensland coach Mal Meninga said no one could deny Cronk's utility value, with the Melbourne No.7 already being groomed to replace Karmichael Hunt in that role in the 2010 Maroons side.

"I brought him into the squad for the third Origin game this year as 18th man with the possibility of using him in a versatile role," Meninga told AAP.

"We knew K (Hunt) was going (to the AFL in 2010). I said to Cooper during the camp he can fill that role for us.

"And if JT (Thurston) or Princey is hurt we have a ready-made halfback who has already played for Australia."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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